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Crime Scene House

As part of our extensive resources here at Staffordshire University we also have a fully refurbished Crime Scene House, complete with CCTV and an observation room. The Crime Scene House is a detached house with a large garden and off-road parking. It is situated on the Leek Road site of the Stoke campus, conveniently close to the School of Sciences.

The house contains seven rooms that have been furnished to resemble a typical domestic home. There are also some permanent exhibits of crime scene investigation, e.g. examples of various types of bloodstain patterns. We have also had a recent extension built on, to house our 'Observation Room'. This room is the control centre for the CCTV system that is present throughout the house. This allows the students to be recorded whilst they are processing the simulated crime scenes, so allowing continuous monitoring and feedback to be given to all the students. It also enables students to watch the recorded footage during feedback sessions so they can develop skills in good practice.

The main function of the crime scene house is to give our students the opportunity to investigate simulated crime scenes in a realistic setting. Various types of crime scene are set up, and the students process the scene, working in small teams, using the appropriate equipment and procedures to prevent contamination and loss, and to ensure continuity of evidence. Processing a crime scene begins with isolation to preserve the scene, followed by documentation through sketches, photographs and written notes, and finally the systematic search, recovery, packaging and labelling of the physical evidence. This evidence is then suitably logged and stored in our 'Evidence Store Room', ready for subsequent laboratory analysis.

Such exercises enable students to put into practice skills and knowledge previously gained in lectures, tutorials and practical demonstrations, and provide a unique opportunity to experience at first hand some of the practical considerations of crime scene investigations.

The extensive outside areas enable us to simulate outdoor crime scenes, such as clandestine burials and vehicle crime scenes. These present their own associated problems, for example the weather, which the students have to overcome. One aid we can offer to students processing outdoor scenes is our Crime Scene Tents, which can be placed over the crime scene in an attempt to protect the evidence. These Crime Scene Tents can be used in conjunction with our portable Superglue Fuming System, SUPERfume, for more efficient crime scene processing